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Calm Before the Storm
Posted by southstander on September 05 2008 - 23:19:46

Brace

We went to Belle Vue expecting a drenching and hoping for a miracle. The forecast was for a torrential downpour that would have us looking for materials with which to construct and ark, and the miracle was a big win for Wigan at Knowsley Road coupled with a Rhinos demolition of the 'Cats.

In the end neither materialised.

We bring you all of the action here......

30

Rhinos

v

Wildcats

12

Superleague XIII

Round 27

5th September 2008

Calm Before the Storm

Mercifully for the supporters that made their way into Belle Vue the heavy rain ceased about ten minutes before the game started and apart from a few spots stayed away for the duration.

Bluey gambled and rested Matt Diskin and Kylie Leuluai ahead of the play-offs. Ryan Bailey, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Scott Donalt were all back in the Leeds seventeen for what was most likely to be an passionless end of season dead rubber. No-one told John Kears Wakefield side who obviously had decided that their best way of making an impact on the play-offs was to wipe out a few Rhinos players with some massive, but totally legal, hits. From the off the 'Cats played to their game plan and it did its job if unsettling the reigning champions.

The early exchanges were nothing short of brutal. If anything it was the Wildcats who had the upper hand and Leeds were rocked. Both sides had their chances before the opening score, which came from the boot of Danny Brough after Brent Webb appeared to almost decapitate a Wakefield attacker. One for the disciplinary and two-nil for the home side.

On twenty the Rhinos snatched the lead as Ali Lauiti'iti, instrumental for Leeds tonight, broke down field before finding Webb in support who in turn passed to Tansey who scored a 'goal-hangers' try under the sticks. Sinfield converted for a 6-2 lead, a little against the run of play.

Six minutes later and Wakefield were level as a penalty for Leeds failing to play the ball properly (the second of the game) gave Wakefield position from which Grix spun out of the tackle and crossed from a few metres out on the left. Brough missed the goal and we had 6-6.


12 Points

With five minutes of the half remaining Leeds were mesmerised once again by Grix who this time spun over on the right hand side for his second. Brough added the extras and the home side were 12-6 ahead, to the delight of their downtrodden supporters.

The lead lasted just two minutes when on the next attack Scott Donald scored the try of the game and possibly one of the season. He collected a loose ball from the floor on his own wing and ran inside across field before chipping over the 'Cats defence and winningthe race to score under the posts. Sinfield converted a simple kick for 12-12.

The half wasn't over and after a Leeds obstruction down the left Brough had a kick to give his side a half-time lead but slid the ball wide as the hooter sounded. At 12-12 the Rhinos dream was just still alive, a quick check of the internet on the trusty PDA revealed that the Warriors had the lead, but only narrowly. We needed a massive second half.


Great Solo Try
Leeds puched hard at the start of the second half but made too many mistakes against a determined Wakefield defence. Rather than racking up a cricket score we were increasingly frustrated by a solid line.

It wasn't until the sixty-third minute that luck went our way. A high Sinfield bomb hit the chest of the catcher and went forward straight into the hands of Ali Lauiti'iti who passed inside to the supporting Sinfield who went over next to the sticks. The skipper converted for 18-12.

On sixty-eight Ali barged over for a fourth Leeds try, this one converted by Burrow and four minutes later the big man grabbed another short range try. Sinfield added the extras and took the score to 30-12, a comfortable win in the end but not enough to trouble Saints for the 'hub cap'.

As the hooter went the news filtered through from Knowsley Road that Wigan had scraped a draw against the league leaders and the Rhinos had missed out on top spot by just a point. In the end the winning margin was irrelevant, but Wakefield did an excellent job of keeping the Rhinos scoring down and handing the minor premiership to the Saints.

The Wakefield lads can now pack their bags and head off on holiday. We have a week off before travelling to KR to face the Saints, at stake a place in the Grand Final.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Lauiti'iti65%
7
Donald10%
7
Peacock10%
3
Burgess5%
3
Ellis5%
3
Smith5%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wildcats
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
21
Grix
2
2
Donald
1
2
Blanch
19
Ablett
3
Martin
4
Senior
4
Atkins
5
Smith
15
Petersen
6
McGuire
6
Rooney
7
Burrow
1
7
Brough
2
17
Scruton
8
Watene
21
Tansey
1
9
Drew
10
Peacock
16
Bibey
14
lauiti'iti
2
12
MacGillivray
12
Ellis
23
Golden
13
Sinfield
1
4
13
Demetriou
11
Jones-Buchanan
10
Sculthorpe
16
Bailey
18
Wilkes
16
Bailey
20
Leo-Latu
18
Kirke
17
Henderson

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
12-12
Referee:
'Saint' Steve Ganson
Crowd:
6,448


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